As we celebrate the anniversary of Pope Francis’ election to the papacy on March 13, we invite you to reflect upon some of his most inspirational quotes. Whether he’s reminding us to take heart in Christ’s love amidst the chaos of the world, or spurring us onward to the work of evangelization, he provides spiritual encouragement to people from all walks of life. We pray your soul is uplifted by these eight quotes from Pope Francis.
On Having Hope Amidst a Chaotic World
“Jesus wants to open our hearts to hope, to remove our anxiety and fear before the pain of the world. And so, he tells us that even as the sun grows dark and everything around us seems to be falling, he himself is drawing near. Amid the groans of our painful history, a future of salvation is beginning to blossom. Tomorrow’s hope flowers amid today’s pain. Indeed, God’s salvation is not only a future promise, but is even now at work within our wounded history… the kingdom of God is blossoming like the tender leaves of the tree and guiding history to its goal, to the final encounter with the Lord, the King of the universe who will definitively set us free.” – From his Homily on the World Day of the Poor, on November 14, 2021
“[T]he Apostle John said to his disciples: ‘See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason the world does not know us… We are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is’ (1 Jn 3:1-2).
To see God, to be like God: this is our hope.
And today… we need to think a little about this hope: this hope that accompanies us in life. The first Christians depicted hope with an anchor, as though life were an anchor cast on Heaven’s shores and all of us journeying to that shore, clinging to the anchor’s rope. This is a beautiful image of hope: to have our hearts anchored there, where our beloved predecessors are, where the Saints are, where Jesus is, where God is. This is the hope that does not disappoint; today and tomorrow are days of hope.” – From his Homily on November 1, 2013
On the Presence of God
“In the face of unjust and painful situations, faith brings us the light which scatters the darkness. As it did for Joseph, faith makes us open to the quiet presence of God at every moment of our lives, in every person and in every situation. God is present in every one of you, in each one of us.” – From his message at the Charitable Center of St. Patrick Parish on September 24, 2015
“God’s nearness is not inconsequential, his presence does not leave things as they are, it does not advocate a quiet life. On the contrary, his Word shakes us, disturbs us, incites us to change, to conversion. It throws us into crisis because it ‘is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart’ (Heb 4:12). Like a sword, the Word penetrates life, enabling us to discern the feelings and thoughts of the heart, that is, making us see where the light of goodness is to be afforded room and where, instead, the thick darkness of vices and sins is to be resisted. When it enters us, the Word transforms our hearts and minds; it changes us and leads us to direct our lives to the Lord.
Here is Jesus’ invitation: God has come close to you; recognize his presence, make room for his Word, and you will change your outlook on life.” – From his Homily on January 22, 2023
On Proclaiming the Gospel
“What can we do to keep our heart from growing numb, becoming anesthetized? How do we make the joy of the Gospel increase and take deeper root in our lives?
Jesus gives the answer. He said to his disciples then and he says it to us now: Go forth! Proclaim! The joy of the Gospel is something to be experienced, something to be known and lived only through giving it away, through giving ourselves away.” – From his Homily at the National Shrine on September 23, 2015
“I also want to urge you to persevere in the work of evangelization… The Christian proclamation that you have received needs constantly to be brought to others. The Gospel message of God’s closeness cries out to be expressed in love for our brothers and sisters. God desires that no one perish. For this reason, he asks the Church to care for those who are hurting and living on the fringes of life. God so loves us that he gives himself to us, and the Church has this same mission.” – From his Homily for the 500th Anniversary of the Evangelization of the Philippines on March 14, 2021
On Prayer as a Way of Life
“One of the most effective ways we have to help is that of prayer. Prayer unites us; it makes us brothers and sisters. It opens our hearts and reminds us of a beautiful truth which we sometimes forget. In prayer, there are no rich or poor, there are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers… In prayer our hearts find the strength not to be cold and insensitive in the face of situations of injustice. In prayer, God keeps calling us, opening our hearts to charity.” – From his message at the Charitable Center of St. Patrick Parish on September 24, 2015
“Prayer must take first place. Then the other things. But when the other things take away space from prayer, then something is not right. And prayer is strong because of what we have heard in the Gospel of Jesus. It is ‘because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ (Jn 14:12-13). Thus the Church progresses in prayer, in the courage of prayer because the Church knows that without this ascent to the Father, she cannot survive.” – From his Homily on May 10, 2020